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Inclou el nom: Dr. Bob Beltz

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At age 26, William Wilberforce (1759-1833), a British reformer and member of the House of Commons (1780-1825), experienced a transformation in his Christian faith.

On October 28, 1787, Wilberforce recorded that God had set before him two objectives: to end the slave trade and improve public morality.

To help reshape the culture, he wrote a book originally titled "A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System...Contrasted with Real Christianity" (1797). This instant bestseller went through 15 editions in Britain and 25 in the US and was translated into five languages by 1826.

In it, Wilberforce contrasts authentic Christianity with cultural Christianity. An authentic Christian allows the Word of God to transform his life, while a cultural Christian does not. They may go through the motions of being “good,” but their priorities are comfort and acceptance by society.

When cultural Christians speak about their faith, “you will see how little of their Christianity has anything to do with the faith taught by Jesus. Everything becomes subjective. Their conduct is not measured against the standard set by the gospel. They have developed their own philosophies, which they attempt to pawn off as Christian faith” (Wilberforce, 21).

Authentic Christians, on the other hand, work out their faith.

"Carefully studying the Bible will reveal to us our own ignorance of these things. It will challenge us to reject a superficial understanding of Christianity and impress on us that it is imperative not to simply be religious or moral, but also to master the Bible intellectually, integrate its principles into our lives morally, and put into action what we have learned practically” (22-23).

In sum, biblical Christians study the Bible and incorporate its teaching into their attitudes and actions.

Wilberforce explains that cultural Christians are ignorant about how the Holy Spirit operates in a person’s life. They think they can be moral on their own, whereas only through the Holy Spirit can people live as authentic Christians.

"[T]he Bible teaches that the state of mind most conductive to our true condition is one of humility and recognition of the extent of our flaws. We are told that in order to live in a way that pleases God, we need to aggressively fight against our natural tendencies toward arrogance and self-importance. Any natural advantages we might have over another, or any progress in virtue, should be viewed as the work of God in our lives" (Wilberforce, 85).

A person can only conquer the power of the sinful nature through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Society Needs Authentic Christians

Wilberforce states that without citizens with a vital, authentic faith, the nation will sink into an immoral morass.

"Political decay can thrive under cultural Christianity, but authentic faith will bring it to a sudden halt. As things stand at the present moment, we need authentic faith desperately. If we do not pursue such faith as a nation, not only will we not experience the great benefits that such faith brings, but we will also be in danger of losing the blessings we enjoy as a result of such faith in the past. We are headed toward a society that incurs the multitude of evils that result from living with no religion at all" (Wilberforce, 156).

"It feels as if we live in a world in which a brood of moral vipers has been hatched that are waiting to unleash themselves on the world...All attempts to restore or protect the values and morals that have made this nation great will be in vain without the restoration of a vital Evangelical Christianity" (Wilberforce, 161-162).

This change needs to start, says Wilberforce, with the local clergy and the restoration of the education system, which now totally ignores the promotion of morality and vital Christianity.

"We battle a culture that is out of tune with God, a personality shaped outside the influence of the Holy Spirit, and an unseen universe in which powerful evil forces are allowed to exercise a degree of autonomy until Jesus Christ returns" (Wilberforce, 182).

Only authentic Christians are equipped for this battle.
… (més)
Newton_Books | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Feb 2, 2024 |
Enjoyable crisis of faith tale of presbyterian minister, Journeying on his Harley on Route 66 he encounters a number of interesting characters
cbinstead | Nov 14, 2020 |
Best book on the Christian Life I've ever written. If this sounds presumptious, let me clarify. After writing a number of books on the Christian life over the years, I took on the task of updating this classic, written by William Wilberforce over 200 years ago. What he had to say then was so signficant to the modern world that I undertook the task of udating. What he has to say is immensely more helpful than anything I have ever written - thus - my best book as an author does not contain an original thought! Hope you enjoy.
A must read.
… (més)
OCMCCP | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Feb 8, 2011 |

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